The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Survey Says: Shale Gas is an 80/20 Issue

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted December 15, 2011

Note to Washington policymakers: Americans get the natural gas revolution. Big time. Data points from a new poll by the Deloitte Center for Energy solutions:

• 83 percent of those surveyed favorably connect natural gas development with U.S. job growth.

• 79 percent favorably connect natural gas with reviving the economies of states and communities where gas is being produced from shale.

• 62 percent of people in areas where shale gas development is established, like Texas, associate well-paying jobs with the natural gas industry.

Those are slam-dunk numbers, and Deloitte’s Peter Robertson says they’ll only grow as shale gas production increases:

“Shale gas made up a small share of domestic natural gas production in 2005, but has surged since then – and in 2010 made up 20 percent of what is produced domestically. By 2030, the portion could be close to 50 percent.”

The Deloitte results also support using hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling techniques to free natural gas from shale formations that typically are several thousand feet below the surface. Nearly 60 percent believe the benefits of shale gas – jobs, economic growth, clean-burning energy – outweigh production concerns. More than 70 percent of people living in established shale areas say they would recommend that family members and friends lease their land for production. Robertson:

"There's so much shale activity in so many parts of the country that it's important to communicate and operate effectively. Everything shale gas producers do gets enormously magnified. That's why they have to get it right every time, on every well drilled. Consistently operating with excellence and communicating effectively with all impacted stakeholders are critical attributes."

Agreed. Which is why industry is committed to continued development of standards and operational guidelines for shale gas production, transparency, close cooperation with state and local regulators and improved relationships with communities and individual landowners.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.